Infectious diseases at the start of the 21st century are responsible for 13 million deaths annually, of which two thirds are children, mainly in the developing world. In 2002, AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis were responsible for six million deaths, and the immune deficiency caused by HIV is accelerating the spread and pathogenicity of both malaria and tuberculosis (TB). The global estimates of HIV infections exceed 42 million people, and this pandemic is most advanced in sub-Saharan Africa. The average rate of HIV infection in southern African countries has reached at least 10% of the general population. In Botswana, the average life span has been reduced from 77 to 29 years because of HIV/AIDS (Stanecki and Walker, 2002). A UNAIDS report estimated that the chance a 15-year-old boy in Botswana would die of AIDS before he reached adulthood (30 years) was about 90% (Piot and Bartos, 2002). The African epidemic demonstrates the social and economic consequences incurred by the directional transmission of this lethal infection by sex and blood contact targeting the major workforce and child-rearing age segment of society. The social impact of the efficient extinction of the sexually active segment of society is the generation of 11 million orphans by 2002 and an expectation that this number will exceed 20 million by 2010. Moreover, the directed infection of the major workforce has profound economic consequences, together with the associated spiraling burden of their health care. Vaccine development for AIDS is a low priority for the major vaccine manufacturers in developed countries and currently early stage clinical evaluation of vaccine candidates is spearheaded by publicly funded non profit groups. This picture of HIV/AIDS in Africa will be repeated in other developing countries unless a coordinated, proactive international effort is organized.
KeywordsJapanese Encephalitis Measle Vaccine Public Health Worker Anthrax Vaccine Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine
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